CLA for Contributions

Wanted to get a section for this discussion.

I think the main area we would want to cover is ensuring that we have the permission and rights to use any contribution that is sent over. Also make it clear that we can change as we see fit any contribution sent over.

I am not sure if this would be the document to say we won’t accept every contribution or that contributions need to meet a certain standard but we can have that discussion.

I’ve started this document so we can collaborate and work on this together.

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Not sure if this helps but upon my educating myself through the wiki article, i found this site which offers up templates which may be of use here :slight_smile: Agreement Templates | Harmony Agreements

A further through in addition to this is whether we want the creator to continue to own the original copyright for the design and thus also be able to use that design how they wish, or if we want them to also sign over the copyright with it. From what I understand this woud be a slightly different agreement which is a Contributor Assignment Agreement rather than a Contributor License Agreement.

Yeah and it can make a pretty big difference for us I think in the long run. I know with the design assets we wrote the agreement in a way that the original owner handed over all copyright to the asset. But we permitted them a license for portfolio purposes.

I think something like this could work here as well. As I think it would be risky to not have ownership of certain aspects of the Site while other parts of the tech may not matter as much.

I agree I think that sounds like something which would be a great addition to put into the agreement for sure, and again I think this being more site wite as opposed to just design is also important, we definitely need to be mindful of that when it comes to wording the above document.

Also, in reference to what you said in the orignal post about not accepting every contribution, reading through some example agreements and happened upon found this clause

“You acknowledge that We are not obligated to use Your Contribution as part of the Material and may decide to include any Contribution We consider appropriate”

While not entirely needed, I agree, it does seem there is already precedent for it if we did choose to include it.

I was also looking on google opensource and it seems their CLA’s are based on this one: https://www.apache.org/licenses/icla.pdf

To look like this:
https://cla.developers.google.com/about/google-individual

This one seems really easy going compared to the above original examples I shared, the language is easier and its laid out much better, I feel something such as the above examples would be better for us.

So after reading these some I am wondering how we want to approach the idea of agreement?

Like we would either need people to sign or just go ahead with it just being there. I think to have any legitimacy we would want some form trackable agreement but it may also be a deterrent and too early in the process to go and have people make an agreement like that on a more official level.

I am also jumping a bit far ahead lol. We can start with the actual concepts we want to cover first and build from there I think

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I think perhaps for those who have already migrated over and contributed in the past we should perhaps approach them to sign an agreement. For new people coming across, it would be wise I think at point of selection of their content to ask them to sign it. Or make them aware if they do choose to put contributions out there then they will be asked to sign it, so should be aware of that before contributing.

I do think something signed would be the best idea. I personally don’t think its too early to have such processes in place as an already trading company its important to protect our assests where we can, especially in an environment that relies on the contributions.

Concept/Plan wise I think:

  • Design, iirc Clone mentioned code contributions, music made specifically for glimesh, videos.

  • We want to try and keep the language firm, but fair, and easy to understand.

  • It should be something which can cover all contributions going forward for that person.

  • It should cover something about all works being of their own creation: I think the phrase I keep seeing is “original works”

Honestly I’ve been pondering flipping the existing copyright transfer, CLA, and licensing on it’s head, but I wanted some more thought from y’all.

Currently the Glimdrop process is for designers to sign an agreement to transfer the copyright to Glimesh, however they reserve the right to continue to use it for portfolios. I’m thinking however that we should treat it like our code, which is that you contribute it to Glimesh, but it’s still open sourced & licensed so everyone can use it.

For the Glimdrops / designs, we could still have users transfer copyright, but then we license all Glimdrops as Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International — CC BY 4.0 so that they can use them however they want. It doesn’t really make sense for us to so tightly protect the assets of our community.

The same could apply for all intellectual property. You assign it to Glimesh, and then we license it free to use for everyone.

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Creative Commons would definitely be more in line with our company ethos.

My main concern would the the commercial use. While I agree it is likely very difficult at scale it could prove difficult to check for infringement in such processes, if people take Glimdrops, for example, and throw them onto merchandise, if we ever chose to do the same this would make it difficult to be exclusive (Just one initial thought), short or having a range of CC BY licensed Glimdrops, and other Glimdrops which are CC BY-NC (or a range which are just straight up non-CC and only Glimesh use).

On the whole though I do think that transfer of copyright and then a Creative Commons License makes sense, we do get community asking to use them a lot, and a license would cover them to do so, and they are already on the github anyway, which is opensource. So it would fit nicely with that anyway. :slight_smile:

I’ll need to look into the intricacies of all this, as it’s not something I am well-versed in. In any case, I think we can all agree that the best option is one that meets a few criteria:

  • Maintaining our stance on transparency
  • Fairness to the creator
  • Our open source stance
  • Legal protection of our property

I’m sure there are plenty of people who know more than I do about what specific options we have available and I’d love to hear from them. In the meantime I’ll be doing some research.

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I can help on this, as I work with licensing stuff on a regular basis, though obviously IANAL.

I should also point out that Creative Commons may not always be the best way to go with these (not shooting it down by any means, just saying that like anything, it’s not 100% ideal). This page might help. https://www.slant.co/options/3578/alternatives/~creative-commons-alternatives

The licenses you linked are generally used for code, and not for art. Can you explain the problems you foresee with using a creative commons license for art? Our software is already licensed as MIT & AGPL.

Not necessarily. GNU is increasingly used for artistic endeavors (via the GPL and GDFL variants, though the GFL website says the GFL can be used if so desired). There are also others not listed on that page, such as Konomark.

My concern is the countries in which CC tends to be ignored or disregarded; we discuss this often in type designer circles and so I felt it prudent to mention here.

Again, not saying at CC is bad or such, only that all options should be looked at before we pin something down.

Hey @Shinzakura I just wondered if you might link me to some examples of where the GNU/GPL/GDFL has been used for artistic endeavours if you wouldn’t mind, I am trying to research all the suggestions in order to help make informed comments but all I seem to hit when looking these up is in regards to software rather than art, even the GNU site itself doesn’t seem to mention an adapted version.

I would love to be able to see some worked examples as I learn best from reading such things.

I feel Konomark may not work for our purposes, all the other above suggestions, GNU included, already have processes which prevent many of the issues that Konomark could bring to the table, that said, i do like what Konomark aims to achieve in principle :slight_smile:

I’ll see what I can do. :slight_smile:

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So I’ve been reading up on a handful of these things and I had this random idea

Is there anything that would stop us from creating our own standard license that would cover all of our needs?

I do know there will be pros and cons to this but I am thinking we could allow better use of Glimesh assets while also protecting what we are doing.

I think the biggest con is that it wouldn’t be a familiar license and may deter people from diving in to things but I think we can better narrow down how we want contributing and use to work.

I dont believe there are any legal implications to this but I haven’t really dug into that end of things too deep

Generally the issue with creating your own license is that courts have not proven that it will hold up to litigation. A license is just a contract, and contacts can be disputed. I believe its in our best interest to go with a tried and true license that meets our requirements.

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Update on this: so far I have not found any concrete examples, just mostly people who have talked at length about it but for various reasons either never followed through or do not/will not give out examples (which seems odd, but somewhat understandable). Checking with some others I know to see if they can dig up anything further.

So I was looking at a handful of licenses and I think that one of these two would probably best fit our needs and could scale well with our company.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

This will allow our logo and Glimdrops + whatever else we decide to use the license on to be used by the community even on their own merchandise. This would also allow us to have these assets point back to us but would also allow the community to freely create derivatives of the Glimdrops and the Logo.

I don’t think we need to bar people from commercial use as it is really just advertisement for us and merch sales is not the business we are in. If we decide to take merch more seriously I think people would end up buying from the source to support us which is really what the merch is about. If someone wants and is able to successfully make a business from selling Glimesh merch is there any reason we should stop them or is there any reason we just don’t see about having them do it for us at that point?

I think that these licenses really would help us reflect our open source and transparency model as they allow anyone to use stuff in any manner.

Then lastly I mentioned the share-alike license because while it may discourage people from making Glimdrops it would still allow the community to use others creations and thus keep our open source model. With the regular creative commons I could see someone making a variety of Glimdrops and then barring them off to others in the community through licensing or someone trying to sell Glimdrops as custom Glimdrops for streamers and I think that this is kind of what we are trying to avoid. The share-alike aspect would at least require them to hold the same license and keep Glimdrops as an open part of the community.

So my personal thought is transferring whatever assets we own over to a

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

And basically allow anyone to use the assets as long as they keep the licensing the same